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Saturday, 24 May 2014

Each party defends its performance.


Nigel Farage hails UKIP's 'political earthquake'


Jeremy Hunt and Chuka Umunna on Newsnight
Jeremy Hunt and Chuka Umunna defended their parties' performances

It will have been impossible not to notice that yesterday (23rd May 2014), the results of the local council elections of the previous day were filling the media and television news coverage on all channels and “special” programmes aired specifically for analysis and comment. The blanket media coverage will clearly be repeated on Sunday evening and continue into Monday morning, after the results of the European elections are announced when the polling stations across Europe close at 9pm tomorrow (25th May). One indisputable fact, commonly confirmed in every interview, analysis and story is that the three (formally) major parties, Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat have learned nothing from the results of the local elections and will continue with their head in sand attitude generally and their failure to understand or accept what the ballot box is telling them.
Time after time, from early morning to late last evening, a procession of MP's or activists or both, from all three parties, Labour, Conservative or LibDem, filled our screens to offer their interpretation of the results from the vote. No doubt over the coming days, even more “pundits” will join the ranks of those in the studios of BBC or Sky News or will be interviewed from Parliament Square (usually amid noisy traffic and emergency service vehicle sirens) or some constituency around the country all offering their “take” on the events and results.
All, bar none, will have the same basic response. After the perfunctory admission of a less than satisfactory performance from their own party, there will follow the word “but”. After that there comes the cliché ridden distortions of how, notwithstanding their own performance, the result was in fact some form of victory as “if you look at the full picture” or “our share of the vote has held up” or “of course (insert any of the other parties on the ballot paper) has not done anywhere near as well as they were expected to do” or “our message has struck a chord with the voters which is reflected in our share of the vote” or one thousand and one other phrases so loved and so overused by these “politicians” who are unrelentingly convinced that we actually accept or more worryingly believe, what they are saying. They, and their predecessors, have been repeating this clichéd garbage for more than 30 years, but may well now have to face a different reality.

The "new reality"?


Whether we like it or not, and regardless of whether they got our vote or conversely our censure, UKIP has introduced a new dynamic into the political arena. Clearly, the almost hysterical mud slinging and innuendo, so common over the last few months (and incredibly, repeated by a few interviewee's as late as last night), has not had the effect that the other parties and the media, had in mind. It will be interesting to observe the conversations and analysis following the announcement of the European election results. The other parties and some sections of the media, have given the impression of believing that the emergence of another political party to challenge their position as the “natural leaders” of the country would be so implausible, that it would be nothing more than just a flash in the pan, a protest vote, which would not last beyond a by election or a freak result. The British voters would, they believe, return to their respective folds and restore the three party status quo at “the next election”.
The illusion that Labour, or Liberal Democrat (or a Lib and someone else coalition) or Conservatives, have some divine right to govern the United Kingdom should have been dispelled by the polls of last Thursday. One of the other great clichés used by the three parties propaganda machines is that “lessons will be learned”.
If their objective is to remain as a major player in politics, then they will certainly have to change philosophy, attitude and their relationship with the British people, as history tells us that where the learning of lessons is concerned, the complete opposite is the norm.